29Nov ‘Customer Delight’ Made In Heaven By The Royal Mail

When 7 year old Jase Hyndman sent a birthday card to his daddy in heaven via the Post Office he was worried whether it would reach him. However, he didn’t have to worry as he received a lovely personalised letter from Sean Milligan at the Royal Mail explaining that ‘it was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects’, but his letter had indeed been delivered to his daddy for his birthday.

What a lovely example of Customer Delight – that’s surprising customers with the level of service you provide and it clearly demonstrates all 6 of the ingredients I talk about at conferences and seminars when it comes to creating remarkable customer service experiences:

  • It produces a wow reaction!
  • It appears spontaneous or unexpected!
  • It’s the personal touch!
  • It makes the customer feel valued!
  • It’s genuine… and…
  • It creates a ‘talking point’!

The ‘key’ to this example is the ‘personalisation’ and the effort that Sean put in to make it happen which clearly made Jase feel valued and ‘special’. He didn’t have to do it, but he did and that made aDramatic Difference – it gets people feeling good and telling others – the news has already been all over the media.

His mum Teri told the Royal Mail “I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card… you didn’t have to make the effort to do this you could have just ignored it but the fact that yous have made the effort for a little boy you’ve never met is such a lovely thing to do Royal Mail you’ve just restored my faith in humanity and thank you it honestly means the world to him please share this so all the staff at Royal Mail know just how grateful we are ???? Thanks and merry Christmas x”

Here’s the letter that Sean sent….


So, how can you ‘delight’ your customers? Well, here’s a FREE 45 page ebook called Customer Delight As Competitive Advantage and it gives you ideas, tips and tools to help you make this stuff work in your business – Click on the image to download it straight to your Kindle or iPad!

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27Nov Baroness Trumpington RIP – A Good Old Fashioned 3D Thinker!

Baroness Trumpington, the Dramatically and Demonstrably Different member of the House Of Lords has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Although I might not necessarily have agreed with all her politics, she really was a favourite of mine – a real ‘disrupter’ who pushed the boundaries throughout her life. She really ‘shot to fame’ when she was shown on television ‘flicking two fingers’ at the former Defence Secretary Lord King , but it’s clear that she ‘Challenged The Status Quo’ throughout her (very interesting) life.

I liked her because she showed that you don’t have to be 30 year old dynamic silicon valley entrepreneur to be a disrupter and that 3D Thinkers’ come in all sorts of shapes and sizes…. and ages!

Some interesting facts and quotes from this 3D Thinker’. She….

‘Fished In Different Ponds’:

She was born into the ‘establishment’ but was a ‘flop’ at school (her words) and showed a rebellious streak even as a ‘posh young lady’. When explaining where she learnt to swear, she said “I used to go into the woods with the local boys and smoke cigarettes.” 

‘Played To Her Strengths’:

She worked as a land girl in the Second World War, but wasn’t overly enamoured with it… ““I hated being a land girl. There were only old men there. The young men had joined up. And it was all apples – no animals.” is how she described it. She looked to do something else that she was good at ……..

‘Stood Out From The Crowd’:

When she turned 18 she became a code breaker at Bletchley Park and used her French and German to crack the codes sent by German submarines. Even there, she managed to ‘break the pattern’ and would hitchhike up to London for a night out. “We used to meet up in Claridge’s, and throw bread at each other and sing and behave so badly” She celebrated her 21st birthday at the 400 Club, and was such a regular at the Bagatelle, a French restaurant with a dance floor, that the band used to play a special tune the moment she arrived!

‘Broke The Rules’:

Her husband was a master at Eton and entertaining boys for tea was something she loved doing – although, she couldn’t let go of her old rebelliousness: “I smoked and drank and did everything naughty” she once said, and demonstrated this by jumping in the school swimming pool much to the disappointment and disapproval of her ‘posh’ husband. 

‘Challenged The Status Quo’:

She was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Government and took great pleasure challenging her  “I thought: if I’m not true to myself, I might as well not exist. Therefore, I’ll say what I think and if that’s wrong, she can sack me. We fought each other verbally and I would stick to my guns and she would provoke me on purpose, and that was useful to her. It meant she was ready for other opponents.” 


She never sat back and was a vocal figure in the Tory government, with roles in the agriculture and social security as well as the position of Baroness-in-waiting to the Queen. On top of that, she served in many other roles, including as UK representative to the United Nations Status of Women Commission and, briefly, the mayor of Cambridge. She stayed in, and contributed regularly to, the House Of Lords until she retired last year, and put forward her forthright views without fear “You don’t give a damn about what you say. Other people’s opinions matter less — unless they’re medical.”

Kept ‘Delivering’:

Even after she’d retired from the House Of Lords, she kept looking for opportunities to ‘push the boundaries’ by appearing and contributing on TV shows such as Have I Got News For You, Great British Menu and Backchat With Jack Whitehall. Her age didn’t bother her and in fact, she often turned it to her advantage. On Have I Got News For You she complained “I would like to know why at the age of 90 do I have to sign a piece of paper to appear on this show to say I’m not pregnant’! 

So, a real 3D Thinker’ who made a real impact sadly gone – if you want to find out more about her, the best thing you can do is click on the image to listen to her Desert Island Discs interview from where she Demonstrates herDramatic Difference wonderfully….

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26Nov Andy’s 3D Thoughts 26th November

3D Thoughts

Dramatically and Demonstrably Different way of doing insurance that’s Lemonade and lessons from their ‘disruptive approach’ are one of this week’s 3D iDeas! Also, an idea to ‘remove your blind spots’ and discover how others see things, and the proven benefits of developing effective performance management practices and maximising the performance of your people!

As ever, just click on the image to listen – it’s all in around 3 minutes…..


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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19Nov Lessons From Lemonade – Ensuring A 3D Approach To Insurance!

Have you ever felt frustrated how long it takes to sort out an insurance claim? Have you ever been unhappy with the form filling and paperwork? Have you ever ‘stretched’ a claim? (Don’t worry you don’t have to answer that one – but the evidence suggests you might have!). Well, a new insurance business is taking a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach to try and end all that by providing a speedy, responsive and seamless customer experience driven by bots!

Lemonade appears to be doing just that by disrupting what they believe is a ‘traditional’ (even ‘old fashioned’) industry… and  the co-founders Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger are using high tech and ‘modern’ way of doing it. They have come from the outside the industry and acknowledge that they have no real knowledge or understanding of the industry and have turned this to their advantage. Daniel says “We ‘milked our ignorance for all its worth’ to create a brand new model and building it from scratch” and there are some great lessons in their for any one wanting to create a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different customer experience. Here they are…

Lesson 1: Choose ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em!

Lemonade Founders Daniel and Shai

They are definitely NOT trying to be all things to all people. 81% of Lemonade’s customers are aged between 25 and 44. They have focused specifically on young, tech savvy professionals and offer them renters insurance, homeowners insurance and condo’s insurance for their rental properties. They are licensed to offer other services, but have decided to focus on those areas to start.  They recognise that some customers are not ready for this ‘modern’ approach (yet!) and don’t push for them. Daniel says that he feels that the number of these people are diminishing, and will adapt one day. In the meantime, they are focusing on the ‘trendy’ young people who will be happy to arrange their insurance while stood in a queue in Starbucks… and have created a customer experience that will allow them to do just that in the time it takes to get your grande, iced, sugar -free, vanilla latte with soya milk!

Lesson 2: Break The Rules…. Create New Ones!

A great source of establishing a Dramatic Difference is breaking (and rewriting) the industry rules. It’s about doing things that their competitors aren’t doing – even better, can’t do! Lemonade have focused their efforts on this ‘big style’! They believe that the insurance world has lots of limiting rules that don’t help customers or insurers and have gone about breaking them and establishing some new ones. For example, imagine getting your insurance quote from a bot via an app on your phone, knowing the fixed price for insuring your flat, doing your claim via the same app and getting it resolved in and paid ‘on the spot’! That’s exactly what Lemonade Inc. do!

“Dealing with your insurance should be no different from chatting with your friends” explains Daniel and that’s what they’re trying to do throughout the customer journey – that’s why they use ‘bots’ who are instantaneous, always there (you’re never ‘put on hold’!) and make it easy to do business with. They’ve introduced Policy 2.0 which means the wording has been shortened so as to be readable in 10 minutes and customers are able to increase and decrease their coverage as and when they please – again, it’s about ‘making them easier to do business with’.

Lesson 3: Demonstrate Your Dramatic Difference In Everything You Do!

Maya is their chatbot who helps customers navigate the signing up process via their easy-to use smartphone app. She’s got quite a cheeky ‘personality’ and can get you ‘signed up’ in 90 seconds – no lots of ‘form filling’, but a prompted process that’s very easy to navigate – all from around $5 a month.

Policyholders can alter, upgrade their insurance to get more or less coverage ‘at the touch of a button’ – there’s literally no paperwork! You also file claims from your phone at any time via the ‘Make A Claim’ button and a via another bot (this one’s called Jim!) and send videos to describe an incident. 33% of claims are paid into your debit card account ON THE SPOT!!!  The remaining 66% are paid within one working day – that is Dramatically Different and pretty impressive!

Lesson 4: Build Trust!

A key ingredient of the Lemonade approach is that they believe that there’s not much trust in the insurance world and historically this has created an ‘us and them’ between insurers and their clients – it’s very much ‘you win, I lose’ (or vice versa) and there’s very little trust. So, they’ve worked hard on this by being very transparent about their fees and they worked on fixed fees. That’s a good start, but the Dramatically and Demonstrably Different bit is that if you don’t claim during the year, and there’s money left over, that money goes to a charity that you have nominated! They believe this completely reduces the ‘us and them’ and helps build trust – something they feel is lacking in the industry. They also feel that people are less likely to make false claims as they would be defrauding their nominated charity’, and if they don’t claim, they know the charity will benefit.

Lesson 5: ‘Get Personal’ To Maximise Customer Relationships!

The personalised approach is a benefit to customers, but it’s also a benefit to Lemonade. By using data analysis they also work hard to tailor their products to individuals specifically. Using the personal data of their customers they are creating real insights into their individual customer’s lifestyle, habits, needs and they can deliver totally personalised unique offers specific to each customer – it helps them build ‘ties that bind’, which if they get it right, should lead to increased customer loyalty and ultimately…spend!

Lemonade Inc. is a small ‘up start’ start up business and sold $10 million in policies last year in 19 U.S. states. They’re fast, they are focused, they are responsive, they personalise the experience and they are clearly disruptive, but there’s still a long, long way to go.  It will be interesting to see if and how they ‘scale’ and how the rest of the insurance world reacts… whether they ignore their approach (think lots of retailers, taxi companies and hotel chains ) or whether they embrace (and develop it) to improve the overall way the industry deals with its customers.

So, after 5 Lessons, here are 5 Questions for you

  • Which Customers (Existing Or Potential) Should You Be Focusing On?
  • What ‘Rules’ Could You / Should You Break?
  • What Customer Problems And Frustrations Could You Eliminate?
  • What’s Your ‘Dramatic Difference‘?
  • How Do You ‘Demonstrate It?

If you want to hear an interview with Daniel Schrieber on then you can listen here – it’s well worth it I promise….

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12Nov Andy’s 3D Thoughts 12th November

3D Thoughts

Great customer experiences from front line people on Trans Pennine Express and Easy Jet feature in this week’s 3D iDeas! As does HMRC and their Dramatically and Demonstrably Different way of saying ‘Sorry’. Plus, at this time of remembrance, there are some examples of innovation from World War 1. 

As ever, just click on the image to listen – it’s all in around 3 minutes…..


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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05Nov Andy’s 3D Thoughts 5th November

3D Thoughts

Robots, AI, emotion analytics and I-O Science – No, I haven’t got overexcited after this week’s Doctor Who, but these are the themes for this week’s 3D iDeas! It’s all about how businesses are maximising AI to create real competitive advantage and there are some great examples of businesses who are making it work for them. Whether it’s for recruiting people by robot, personalising advertising, making recommendations based on a simple emoji, or getting a real insight into a customer or prospect’s personality before you’ve met them – it’s definitely a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach that is happening now!  

As ever, just click on the image to listen – it’s all in around 3 minutes…..


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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